U.S. and International Bottled Water Developments and Statistics for 2008
By John G. Rodwan, Jr.
espite an uncharacteristically staid performance in 2008, bottled water remains a beverage industry phenomenon. It stands as the second-largest beverage type in the U.S. market and for many years also ranked as the most vigorously growing category. Only
carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) have greater volume, but they have been declining, in no small part because of the ascent of bottled water and its ever enlarging share of Americans’ beverage intake.
A signiﬁcant shift in consumer preferences occurred during the 2000s. At the beginning of the decade, CSDs accounted for nearly 28 percent of total liquid consumption by U.S. consumers. Then, Americans drank more than 15 billion gallons of CSDs, compared with 4.7 billion gallons of bottled water, which represented less than 9 percent of total beverage consumption and placed bottled water as the number 5 beverage category behind beer, coffee, and milk as well as CSDs. By 2008, CSD volume had slipped to 14.1 billion gallons while bottled water’s increased to almost 8.7 billion gallons. Consequently, CSDs’ market share eroded to 24 percent, while water’s swelled to almost 15 percent. Rapid volume growth characterized bottled water for much of this period, as chronicled in the latest edition of Bottled Water in the U.S., an annual comprehensive study of the market by Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC). Bottled water volume achieved double-digit percentage growth rates in two years and advanced at rates close to that level in several others. After growing by 10.8 percent in 2005, for instance, bottled water volume enlarged by 9.5 percent the following year. CSDs, in pronounced contrast, followed several years of slow growth with multiple volume reductions. Indeed, the category charted its fourth year in a row of intensifying volume loss in 2008.... [continues]
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